Saturday, May 31, 2008


OK. I really like my gym. It's affiliated with a hospital so they have really well-maintained equipment and a lot of it. It's usually not too crowded and I've almost never had to wait for a treadmill. The members are - for the most part - courteous and polite. And there's a nice ratio of beautiful people to therapy patients.

But as with everything, there's always a few people who have to be asshats.

We all know, or should know, the four basic tenets of Gym Etiquette:

  • Don't be a Machine Hog We've all seen that guy (or girl) who spends twenty minutes on the squat machine, and then rests for 5min between sets without offering to share. I understand that sometimes it's best to just finish, but if there are clearly six other people waiting, maybe you can alternate so someone is pumping iron while you're resting and vice versa.

  • Wipe up Your Sweat It is gross Gross GROSS to leave a puddle of your salty body juice behind on the stretch mat or smeared all over the elliptical. There are 50million towels in the gym, laundered fresh 30 times a day as well as squirt bottles of alcohol and strategically placed handy-wipes. There is NO EXCUSE for leaving a sweat-smear behind.

  • Pick up your Trash Yesterday I found an F-ing band-aid in the cup-holder on the treadmill. EWWWW!!!! You've just jogged six miles, you can't walk ten more feet to the trashcan???

  • Shut up Luckily, cell phones are strictly verboten at my gym. But I've heard horror stories of chatterboxes dictating their life stories into their phones while spinning. Multitasking has to end at some point, people!!!

OK. End Rant.

Enjoy the gorgeous weekend, everyone!!!


Some people have WAY too much time on their hands.

I just read on the BBC that a group of busybodies (I won't give you their name because I refuse to give them more exposure than they're already getting) have decided to boycott Starbucks because the new logo on the cups is "too racy"

GIVE ME A BREAK!!!! I have plenty of issues with Starbucks (not least of which is that their Cinnamon Dolce Latte must have crack in it because it's totally addictive!!!) but do people really have nothing better to do than get themselves into a lather about a two-inch drawing on a coffee cup???

Friday, May 30, 2008

Body Age

Normally I meet with my trainer on Friday mornings but she’s sick today so we rescheduled for tomorrow. I’ve been working with her for three months now – a quarter year. And I’ve lost a whopping ten pounds.

Slow and steady wins the race, they say. Well, it’s gonna be a loooonnnnggg race.

When I first started with her, she gave me a full evaluation, measuring everything: Weight (of course); Inches; Body Fat Index (eeek!); Blood Pressure; Cardio-vascular capacity; Strength; and Flexibility. In the end, after all this information was fed into the BodyMaster5000 (my own name for the little PC in the eval room) we found that my “body age” was seven years older than my actual chronological age.

I don’t like the idea that my body is seven years older than me.

Luckily, according to the BodyMaster5000, it’s pretty easy to lower this number. I’m curious to see where I’m at now compared to then. I really have been working my ass off (literally!!!) so I’m hoping for some good results.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bad Idea Bears

My friends and I saw Avenue Q at the Cadillac on Tuesday. I was scheduled to have another filling replaced that afternoon but really, which would you choose: an hour under the dental drill followed by two days of pain or an evening of raunchy music and muppet sex?


So, the show’s in Chicago on a very limited run, only until June 7, I think. And then it’s continuing on its national tour. If you have the chance to see it, I highly recommend it.

My favorite part was the Bad Idea Bears. Picture what would happen if Jack Black were to procreate with a Care Bear.

These two adorable, saccharine-voiced muppets show up with very very bad advice at the most inopportune moments. “A six-pack? Why not a case?” and “How about a drinking game!!!”

From now on, whenever I do something stupid, I’m going to blame it on the Bad Idea Bears.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I finally – finally! – hit 50,000 words on my novel this morning. I would consider this quite the accomplishment if I hadn’t been working on the damned thing for six F-ing months. Normally I keep a better pace than this. I can usually knock out 500 words a day, easy. And for the past few years I’ve managed to spit out 50K every November for NaNoWriMo.

Let me tell you, writing a 50K novel in a month is FUN. Your whole world revolves around the all-powerful word count. It’s a grueling pace: 2K per day – knowing that you’ll miss a few days to give your poor fingers a rest (I keep the wrist-brace on standby for Novembers)

And what you end up with… Well, let me tell you: it is NOT good. When you’re slamming through a novel at that pace, (all the while consuming enough caffeine to fuel a family of five) there’s no time for finesse. There’s no time for revision. There’s no time for fixing obvious and ridiculous plot holes and characterization flaws. There's no time for bathing.... er.... never mind...

But none of that matters as long as you FINISH. As Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo says: “It’s not about quality. It’s about quantity.”

But this novel is different. This novel is special. This is number seven. Lucky number seven. Magical number seven. It’s different from the others in so many ways. Mainly: genre. The others were all tripey, dorky romance novels with ever-increasing levels of s-e-x.

The genre on this one is tricky. I’ve jokingly called it “vampire erotica” which is really not true. For one thing, I’m not intending my MC to actually get any – not in this book anyway. Though there’s plenty of innuendo. I prefer to think of it as “urban fantasy” though my dear friend and writing-club buddy insists on calling it “paranormal romance”

We’re not the only ones who disagree. There is a lot of debate in the industry about what defines each genre. Some people lump the two together, but I really feel like there's a third genre, sort of the Green Party of modern fantasy.

There are plenty of authors and series who really straddle the line between urban fantasy and para-romance, and in my opinion they deserve a new classification. Patricia Briggs, Kelley Armstrong, Kim Harrison, Rachel Caine, even Keri Arthur who’s about the diiiiiirtiest of the bunch, don’t write pure para-romance. (And oh, how I LONG to someday be included in the same sentence as these writers!) The stories are more about the journeys and growth of the female leads than their love-lives. Yes, romance is a component, but it isn’t the driving point of the story.

Anyway. None of that is the point. The point is that I’ve finally hit 50K with this thing. Shooting for a total of 80-90K by November, so I’ve still got a way to go, but, Hey! 50K!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fwd: Aquarius!


So… My sister really gets off on sending me chain mail. I've told her repeatedly to knock it off and she doesn't do it as often as she used to, but today I got an email titled "Fwd: Aquarius!" with the following message attached.

What I find the most interesting about this message is that there is apparently a sliding scale of bad luck if you don't forward it on, depending on your sign. Scorpios get off pretty light, with only 4 years of bad luck, but you'd better pass this hot potato on PDQ if you're a Capricorn: 20 years, baby!!!!

I honestly don't put a lot of stock in horoscopes. I figure you can close your eyes and pick a sign at random and at least 60% of the traits will pertain to you. But mine are actually pretty damn close. Anyway, here's the email:

Below are True descriptions of zodiac signs. Read your sign, and then forward it on, with your zodiac sign and label on the subject line. This is the real deal, try ignoring or changing it, and the first thing you'll notice is having a horrible day starting tomorrow morning - and it only gets Worse from there. Remember, if you are on the cusp of another sign you most likely will have features of both signs...which may lead you into total confusion......

AQUARIUS - The Sweetheart (Jan 20 - Feb 18) Optimistic and honest, sweet personality. Very independent. Inventive and intelligent. Friendly and loyal. Can seem unemotional. Can be a bit rebellious. Very stubborn, but original and unique. Attractive on the inside and out. Eccentric personality. 11 years of bad luck if you do not forward.

(Ooh… Rational! You and Jo both had better make sure you forward this. 11 years!!)

PISCES - The Dreamer (Feb 19 - Mar 20) Generous, kind, and thoughtful. Very creative and imaginative. May become secretive and vague. Sensitive. Don't like details. Dreamy and unrealistic. Sympathetic and loving. Kind. Unselfish. Good kisser. Beautiful. 8 year s of bad luck if you do not forward.

(A "good kisser," eh, Nova??? Maybe we should talk…)….

Now, I included both Virgo and Libra because I was born on the cusp (the Cusp of Beauty it's called…) and I like to cherry-pick what I like from each. Trouble is, they pretty much BOTH apply to me….

VIRGO - The Perfectionist (Aug 23 - Sept 22)
Dominant in relationships: sometimes ;)
Conservative: only on the surface
Always want the last word: Hell YEAH!
Argumentative: Duh!
Worrier: Not so much – though I was a total worrywart when I was younger. Now I only worry about what I can control.
Very smart: sort of. Getting dumber by the day
Dislikes noise & chaos: Depends on the situation, but usually, this is true
Eager: Huh?
Hardworking: Sometimes. Depends on if I like the task. I'm better with the prep work – I lack follow-through…
Loyal: Yes.
Beautiful: My mom says so. :)
Easy to talk to: Absolutely
Hard to please: So NOT true… um…
Harsh: Well… I suppose
Practical: Yeah.
Fussy: Absolutely not! Um.. could you please move that lamp two inches to the left, thanks.
Often shy: This one is VERY true
Pessimistic: Expect the worst and you'll never be disappointed…

LIBRA – The Harmonizer (Sept 23 - Oct 22)
Nice to everyone they meet: I'm PREPARED to be nice to everyone I meet. Won't be a doormat, though.
Can't make up their mind: This is true. Or maybe not. No, it's true…I think…
Have own unique appeal: What does this mean???
Creative: You tell me
Energetic: Urm… depends on the activity ;)
Very social. Depends on the society. I like my little group of friends but I don't need to be around people constantly.
Hates to be alone: This one is flat out, 100% WRONG
Peaceful: I can be Zen if I feel like it.
Generous: Again, it depends on the recipient
Very loving: To those who've won my love, absolutely.
Beautiful: That's what my mommy keeps telling me…
Flirtatious: *wink wink, nudge nudge* ;)
Give in too easily: yeah…
Procrastinators: No question about it.
Very gullible
: As many lies as I've been fed in my life, I still don't expect to be lied to. Except by Jo…

Anyway, Virgo gets 7 years bad luck and Libra gets 9 years. By sending this tripe to the recycle bin, do I split the difference and get 8 or add them up and get 16??? With my luck, they'll be multiplied and I'll get 63.

Oh well. See you guys in 2071…

(Nova! Don't you dare wait that long before coming back!!!)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sunny days

So the long weekend is almost over. :(

I managed to get some shopping done (the dreaded swimsuit search is done!), hang out with my friends, drink some awesome homemade sangria, and introduce my legs to the bright light of day for the first time in about nine months.

For a while we were worried that the weather gods weren't going to cooperate, and in fact, right after we lugged all our stuff down to the patio and settled ourselves at the table, it started to rain. We sat glumly under the "sun umbrella" for about fifteen minutes drinking and debating whether we should do an indoor picnic, but then the sun came out. And stayed out the rest of the afternoon with a perfect eastbound wind to keep it comfortable. :)

It was a fun, laid-back afternoon, and I was glad to catch up with several friends I hadn't seen in a while.

Of course, I managed to land myself with a mild sunburn. But only on my right side. Ugh.

I look like a peppermint pinwheel.

Normally, I am extremely anal about the sun. Big, floppy hat, SPF 2500, lots of shade... But I'm going on vacation soon and I thought a light tan wouldn't hurt. That'll learn me.

At least my face was pretty well covered so I didn't freckle - yet.

Sorry this post is a little dull, but frankly, the weekend was a little dull. Perfectly, pleasantly dull.

Sigh. See you on the boards tomorrow.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Time to go Shopping

I'm not one of those women who can spend hours on end shopping. I used to be able to spend a whole day wandering around the mall - when I was a teenager. But now my philosophy on shopping is: Wham, Bam, Thank you, ma'am! I get in, I grab what I need, and I get out. If I don't find what I'm looking for, I don't buy anything (though I'm not immune to an impulse buy here and there)

And I HATE crowds. I don't go near Michigan Ave unless it's completely unavoidable and it drives me crazy to swim upstream through the Wicked crowds on Randolph to get to the State Street Borders...

I buy my grocery staples from Peapod (let the cute Croatian boy do the heavy lifting, hehehe...) When I have to go to the Jewel, I go at 7am on a weekend. No pokey seniors, no fussy yuppies, no wandering children... Ah...

And I don't especially look forward to clothing shopping. But the time has come when I simply MUST shop. I've lost ten pounds now (Yea!!!) and have already relegated all of my favorite work clothes to the Goodwill box. I did a little bit of shopping in the back of my closet, but I really need to buy at least a couple new pieces of clothing.

I don't want to buy a whole new wardrobe because I still have a long way to go, but I can't keep washing and wearing the same two pairs of pants over and over and over...

Ah, well! Here's wishing all of you a fantastic holiday weekend!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Doctor Google

So, slightly less freaked out about my dad after talking to him yesterday

(A huge THANKS to all my imaginary friends for all your kind thoughts and wishes!!)

Of course I decide to turn to the premier medical authority of the modern age. That's right: Doctor Google.

Do you know what you get when you Google "bladder tumor"??

You guessed it: Links about CANCER.


Pretty much every article about bladder tumors that I have found center on Bladder Cancer. Though several acknowledge that bladder tumors can be "cancerous or non-cancerous" most of the information is clearly directed towards Cancer sufferes.
After a bit of research it seems that Stage 0 Bladder Cancer (the earliest and most easily treated stage) is found only in the "inner lining" of the bladder. My father's tumors are limited to the OUTER lining of the bladder, and they were definitely NOT malignant so he is pretty much in the clear.
But this got me thinking about my good friend Doctor Google.
I am a hypochondriac-by-proxy. Not your garden variety hypochondriac. I don't self-diagnose. That would be much too pedestrian. No, I love to diagnose the people around me. I adore cataloging their symptoms and researching possible causes and treatments.
"You have an itchy rash? Must be lupus!!!" (I watch WAY too much "House" and they diagnose lupus at least once per episode...)
A couple years ago, my friend Rachel's 3yo daughter fell off the jungle gym in their backyard while I was visiting and hit her head. She jumped right back up, smiling and laughing. I was convinced she had CIPA (Congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis)
Of course she didn't, but that didn't stop me from doing extensive research on the topic for the following week. That was pretty fun.
Why am I so weird?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

In a Handbasket

I'm going to hell. Straight to hell.

When I got to work this morning, one of my coworkers was out sick.

Coworker#1: Coworker#2 is sick.
Me: Again?
Coworker#3: Yeah, I guess his cold is really bad.
CW#1: Colds really hit him hard.
CW#3: I come to work even when I have a cold.
CW#1: Me too.
Me: (laughing) Some people just aren't as hardcore as you guys. I know when my dad is sick, he turns into a great big baby.

*Phone rings*

Me: This is EEE.
Mom: Hi, EEE. It's Mom.
Me: Mom! Hi! What's up?
Mom: Now, I don't want you to worry*

*WHY do parents do this???? She might as well have shouted: WORRY! WORRY NOW!!! WORRY A LOT!!!

Me: What! What is it? What's wrong???
Mom: Nothing, nothing. I don't know if you knew, but your father went in for surgery this morning.
Mom: Now, don't worry, it was just a follow-up to those tumors he had removed last month.
Me: Tumors?! Surgery?! Last month?? WHAT!
Mom: Oh. Didn't I mention?
Me: No! No, you did not.
Mom: Oh. Well, your father had surgery last month to remove some small tumors from his bladder. They were benign, but the doctor wanted to get rid of them.
Me: (taking long, steadying breaths) OK. So they're gone??
Mom: Well...
Me: They're NOT gone???
Mom: It looks like they've come back.

She went on to explain that these tumors are common in former smokers, especially men, even if they quit years ago. (Nova!!!) And even though they're benign, the doctors are going to do a 6-week round of Chemo.


Is there as scarier word in all the world???

To be fair, the doctors have been very very clear that this is preventative, that my father does NOT have - eek! - Cancer. And apparently it's going to be Chemo-lite. He can drive himself there and drive himself home. It's administered locally (I don't even WANT TO KNOW!!!) and following the procedure he has to bleach out the toilet the first time he uses it.




And there I was, calling my dad a "great big baby" probably at the exact minute they were wheeling him out of surgery.

Yep. Straight to hell.

I love you, Daddy! Be better soon!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Be Careful What You Ask For...


Well, I can't say I didn't ask for it.

I asked for feedback on this blog and boy howdy did I get it.

I'll never cease to be surprised by people's capacity for cruelty. I KNOW that people can be mean and petty, so WHY does it always surprise me? Note to "anonymous": if your intention was to be hurtful, you can give yourself a big high-five because you succeeded.

Be more constructive with your feedback.
Because I rap about reality.
Like me and my grandma having a cup of tea?
Ain't no party like my nana's tea party!
-Flight of the Conchords

I never claimed to be cool, and my own stupidity & naivete are pretty much a given - though I I know I can write. I guess my topics have been pretty lame, though.

Ugh! I've had enough of my pity party. It's been pointed out to me that this blog is lame. Without evidence to the contrary, I can't argue. I'm not cool enough to pretend that I'm not hurt, but I'll NEVER f*cking doubt my writing ability. Not ever.

Oh well. Got a book to write. Signing off.

*blowing kisses to all my imaginary friends*

Monday, May 19, 2008

Ow. Ow. Ow!

I had a filling put in today. I haven't needed any dental work in about 15 years and I don't remember it hurting this much. It was a deep filling and the dentist hasn't ruled out a root-canal. (Yikes!) Though he was quick to reassure me that "at least it's a single-root tooth"

Yeah, I feel better.

Honestly, it doesn't hurt that badly. I just feeling like betching and moaning.

My imaginary friends were joking that I must have something on the side with my dentist. This is very amusing. My dentist is about 65yo and a talker. The first time I met him, he showed me polaroids of his cat.

And speaking of my imaginary friends...

Are any of you reading this? Or am I talking to myself?

More importantly, if no one is reading this, is it worth my while to continue??? Hell, if people ARE reading this, is it worth my while to continue? Is it serving ANY purpose?

Small in the Game

My nephew, the E-man, turned four this weekend. I didn't go home for the party and frankly, I doubt he missed me. Anyway, right before his birthday, my mother took him to the doctor for his annual physical.

The E-man pees a lot. I mean, a LOT a lot. More than any little kid I've ever seen. So, my sister wanted my mother to ask the doctor about diabetes. Well, of course the little guy couldn't provide a sample at the doctor's office, so my mom was sent home with a specimen cup. but the doctor didn't think it was diabetes.

This is a phone convo that my sister relayed to me:

Jo: How was the E-man's appointment? Was he good?
Mom: He's always a good boy.
(Note: My mother suffers from a common grandparental bias, namely selective memory)
Jo: Good. What did the doctor say about all the peeing?
Mom: We'll get a sample tonight, but the doctor doesn't think it's diabetes.
Jo: Oh. That's good. What does she think it is?
Mom: She thinks he has an abnormally small penis.
Jo: WHAT?!?!?

OK, so my reaction was pretty much the same as Jo's: WHAT?!?!? How can a four year old have an "abnormally small" anything? I've seen a fair number of junior Mr. Bills in my time (I did a lot of baby-sitting in my teens) and the E-man's is no different from all the rest – they all look like little frogs.

But still! My thought is: That's HORRIBLE!! I mean, there's no fixing a thing like that, no matter how many miracle cures you order from Mexico!

Well. Yeah.

So. I love my mom. She's the best. But she's a little deaf and she gets a little tired of asking people to repeat themselves so a lot of the time she sort of gets the gist of what someone is saying and then guesses on the rest. Usually, this works just fine. Usually.

Jo immediately called the doctor and it turns out that the E-man does NOT have an "abnormally small" winkie. The doctor thinks he has a narrow urethra. NOT the same thing. One requires minor surgery to correct, the other requires years of therapy and some mad skills later in life.

Whooo! *EEE wipes her brow in relief*

Saturday, May 17, 2008

At the Ballet...

Everything was beautiful at the ballet.
Graceful men lift lovely girls in white.
Yes, Everything was beautiful at ballet.
Hey!I was happy... at the ballet.
-From A Chorus Line

Went to the Joffrey last night - the last performance on my subscription for this year's season.

I love ballet. Hell, I love dance. Any kind of dance (totally jonesing for "So You Think You Can Dance" to start up again next week!!!) I just love the combination of amazing athleticism with art.

Not that I can dance. Ha! Aside from the fact that I "lack hand-eye coordination" (according to every P.E. teacher from kindergarten on) I ain't got no rhythm either.

But I love Love LOVE to watch dance.

That said, last night's performance was stunning but ... weird. It was separated into four parts with two intermissions.

Part 1 (Cloven Kingdom) was interesting. Very primal drum-beat music and animalistic dancing. Kind of cool. But the whole performance was just WEIRD. I kept expecting Richard Dreyfuss to wander across the stage with a plate of mashed-potato saying "THIS MEANS SOMETHING!!!"

Part 2 (Inner Space) was basically 3 dancers in a 4x4x6 clear acrylic box (quel claustrophobia!!!) with no music - very cool, very quirky, and very Cirque d'Soleil.

Part 3 (" with my heart") was a lovely contemporary dance performed by three couples to the music of Richard Rodgers - and was the only part of the evening's performance which included live music (which miffed me a bit - I was expecting a full orchestra...)

Part 4 (Waterbaby Bagatelles) was an interesting collection of vignettes with a swimming pool / beach theme. This was the only part of the evening in which the dancers did toe work (my FAVORITE part of ballet) but I HATED the music. 12-tone must have been inspired by the mind-numbing drone of household appliances!!!! That said, I adored the dancing during this part!!!


A quick shout out to the E-man!

Happy Birthday, buddy!!!!
(Though technically, as of 25 min ago, it was yesterday!)

I love you, little dude!

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Good Cry

I gotta apologize to everyone for my funk yesterday afternoon. I don't know what the deal was, I'm normally a pretty level person, but yesterday I was feeling pretty blue.

I've read that for a certain percent of the population, smiling can actually improve mood. I am one of those people, if I force myself to smile, I instantly feel better. But for whatever reason yesterday, I just couldn't drag myself out of my funk.

I held it together during the commute home - barely - but once I shut the door behind me: waterworks. I curled up on my bed and just CRIED for several minutes. I felt better afterward, but still not the normal me. So I went to bed early.

The weird part is that I still don't know what caused it. It HAS been a long time since I had a good cry, so maybe I was just due.

Oh well. I feel better today. I hit the gym at 5am and even though my trainer is off this week, I levered my a$$ onto the scale and it's continuing is glacial journey downward. ;)

Anyway, a big "I'm Sorry!" to everyone I was snappy, dour, mopey with yesterday and a special thanks to Rational, who always makes me feel better!

And just for kicks, I thought I'd share my workout playlist from this morning:

Great DJ - The Ting Tings
Nice - Duran Duran
4 Minutes - Madonna w/ Justin Timberlake
Homecoming - Kanye West
Under Pressure - Queen w/ Bowie
Whole Wide World - Reckless Eric
Whole Wide World - Reckless Eric (What can I say? It's my FAVORITE song and I always have to play it twice!!!)
Friday Night - Lily Allen
Get Me Bodied - Beyonce
Beware - Panjabi MC w/ Jay-Z
I Want You To Want Me - Cheap Trick (live)
Girls - The Beastie Boys

Happy Friday, Everyone!!! And THANKS again, Rational!


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Drunk Post!!!

I have noticed a marked decrease in my alcohol tolerance in the past couple months - since I started my new "regime" of exersizing 5-6x per week and eating all healthy and sh*t....

I went to a girlfriend's house tonight - because Rational would rather hang out with his "boys" than drool over Simon with me - and I had 2 - TWO - glasses of wine and I am REALLY feeling it!!! Even with the pizza we ate, I FEEL that wine.

I'm no lush, but I usually have a little better tolerance than that. My father would be appalled to learn that his daughter was such a light weight!!! (alcoholically speaking that is!) And now I'm home and what do I do??? Crack open that New Zealand Chardonnay I bought last week....

I'm missing Simon tonight, but I'll live. It wouldn't be the same without Aimee & Sara (not Angry-Sara, a different Sara) anyway. And the Rosemont is much too big a venue to do him credit.

Hmmm.... Though the thought of meeting Rational....



I have the crazy idea of inviting him to join my blog so we can do the He Said/She Said idea he had....

I'm totally deleting this post tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Oh Simon My Simon

My boyfriend Simon Le Bon will be singing during the seventh inning stretch at Wrigley tonight...

My boss mentioned it to me earlier today and I didn't bother to try to grab tickets because I thought I'd be in the thros of dental work.

Now - shocker - I actually wish I were at a Cubs game. Can you believe I'm watching baseball on TV?!?!

OMG! I love it! They're interviewing him in the press box RIGHT NOW at the game and he looks SO CUTE!!!! He's wearing a Cubs jersey and an oh-so-British scarf around his neck!!! Excuse me while I swoon!!! (I was on the phone with my best friend when I flipped the channel over to the game just now and I squealed so loud she thought I'd stepped on my cat!) He's just TOO CUTE!!!

I love it! He's talking about how he looked up the song "Take me out to the ball game" on wikipedia before the game! And now he's talking about Gene Kelly & Frank Sinatra and the movie he "can't remember the name of" (Hahaha, Simon! The movie was called - wait for it! - "Take me out to the Ball Game")

Oh! They just showed a replay of Simon throwing out the 1st pitch and it was AWFUL! I love it! And now they're talking about cricket, hahaha!

I love Simon. I'm bummed that I'm not going to the concert tomorrow night but my best friend (the only person I know in Chicago who shares my Simon-love) is out of town on business.


Oh well, I guess I'll have to content myself with Rational!



I received two very different correspondences last night. One from a dear old friend and one from a dear new friend.

My old friend, Sam – the stacked redhead who I will NEVER introduce Rational to – sent me a cute card that read "What's New With You?" on the front and "Yeah… Me neither" on the inside. It's been ten years since I moved away from the house we shared in Colorado (to stupidly follow a boy to Chicago with my heart on my sleeve only to watch him marry someone else in the end, but that's a whole other story... ) It's been 6 years since I last saw Sam. I miss her like crazy. Maybe it's time to plan a trip to Denver…

My new friend, on the other hand, sent me bigger – and sadder – news. My heart breaks today. I've never been good at saying the right thing in situations like this so I'll only say that I'm thinking of you.

Here's hoping for a happier tomorrow.

Holla to all my Topix pals and an extra special Good Morning to Rational, as usual! ;)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Meeting Notes

EEE’s notes on looking busy during a loooonnnnngggggg boring meeting.

So. I spent Monday at an off-site meeting full of very earnest people who take themselves and their pet projects VERY seriously. Let me just say that I completely respect taking one’s work seriously. Believe it or not, I actually love my job and I’m very good at it. Despite the time I spend goofing off espousing my opinions and flirting with Rational, I actually get a lot of work done.

That said, I simply cannot stand long, dull meetings in which nothing is accomplished and people drone on for hours, pedantically debating minutiae, apparently in love with the sound of their own voices.

So, over the course of my professional career, I have developed a number of useful tricks for passing the time while appearing to be paying rapt attention.

And, with just a few simple tips, you too can escape the mind-numbing boredom of high-level, low-productivity meetings:

The number one tool in your arsenal against crippling boredom is a pen. Taking "Notes" is the key. Some people choose to doodle or text away their time in meetings. I find this looks unprofessional. You want to LOOK like you’re fully engaged in the events around you.

Tip #1: Cultivate a scrawling cursive hand that is illegible to all but yourself.

Tip #2: Create HEADINGS with words that actually have some relevance to the meeting at hand so that anyone glancing over at your notes doesn’t realize that you’re really goofing off. I recommend “Training” or “Distribution.”

Tip #3: Look up now and then from your scribbled diatribe to make eye-contact with whoever is speaking. This makes you appear engaged in the meeting and also helps prevent you from missing any important points that you may be called upon later to discuss.

Tip #4: Bullets

  • They make you look organized

  • They make it easy to slip snarky comments in unnoticed

  • They make your notes look longer and more thought out

  • Did I mention they make you look organized?

Tip #5: Small scribbled notes in the margins serve two purposes
1) They make it look as if you’ve gone back to add a note to a previous bullet and
2) They add to the overall unreadability of your notes

Tip #6: Add scattered key points or catch phrases from the actual meeting to your notes, circling them for emphasis.

Tip #7: Always, ALWAYS, take your notes home with you at the end of the meeting and NEVER leave them behind for your boss to find.

G'night, all! Rational, I missed you today, lover!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Mom Rocks!

My mom rocks! Seriously, she's totally the coolest mom ever. It amazes me sometimes that someone as sweet and patient as she could have spawned someone like me.

Mostly, she's your traditional, Catholic, Baby Boomer mom. She married young, popped out three kids one after the other and stayed home with us until Jo, the youngest, was in school full time. And then she went back to work.

And still she found time to cook, clean, help with homework, drive to soccer, gymnastics, art classes... etc etc.... (I'm exhausted just THINKING about it!!!)

Not that she's a doormat, or even a saint. The woman can hold her own. And she's STUBBORN. Arguing with her is like facing off against a freight train. Yell all you want, the track's been laid.

Her biggest accomplishment, in my eyes, aside from raising three children, is putting up with my father all these years. I love the guy, but I can only take him in small doses. He's a punk. He's one of those high-energy, uber-smart people who loves to push peoples' buttons. He's funny and fun to be around, but I have a firm Four Day Rule: I can't visit them and they can't visit me for longer than four days. Otherwise we dissolve into a huge shouting match over something stupid.

About a year ago, my mother was forced to retire. I had serious concerns for my father's health. He himself had been retired for several years at this point and spent a lot of time at home. And I knew, I just KNEW that those first few months of my mother's retirement would be crucial. I begged, I threatened, I pleaded with him to PLEASE NOT BE HIMSELF, just for a few months while Mom adjusted to being home all day.

There were some touchy times. I lived in fear of getting that late night phone call that Dad had gone too far and Mom had bashed him over the head with the blender. But my mother held firm against my father's annoying habits (and my sister's attempts to gain a free babysitter) My father is still healthy as an ox and Mom is now loving her retirement.

Congratulations, Mom! You deserve to enjoy every minute of it!!!

Thank you so much for always being there for me, for being funny and sweet and stern and unpredictable!!! I wish I could be there with you today!

God! *sniff* I'm such a girl!

I love you, Mom!

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Why am I awake? I don't normally have sleep problems. I'm one of those annoying people who falls deeply asleep pretty much as soon as my head hits the pillow and doesn't wake up until five minutes before the alarm...

I even slept through the recent earthquake despite the fact that it occurred five minutes AFTER my first alarm.

But for some reason I'm awake right now.

The cat thinks that this is GREAT, of course. He's VERY happy to have some company.

But I am at a loss.

Also, I have James Taylor singing in my head.

Goodnight you moonlight ladies
Rockabye sweet baby James
Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose
Won't you let me go down in my dreams
And rockabye sweet baby James
He's coming to Ravinia next month. I'd love to go but I'll be out of town. :(

Nothing else on the Ravinia schedule really trips my trigger this year, but I'm still going to try to make it up there for at least one show.

The Chicago Botanical Garden is pretty much right across the street from Ravinia Park. If you haven't been, I recommend it. The picture above is from last summer when my niece came to visit - her first trip to Chicago and I took her to look at plants... Yeah... I'm super fun.
OK, I'm going to TRY to get back to sleep now.
There's a song that they sing when they take to the highway
A song that they sing when they take to the sea
A song that they sing of their home in the sky
Maybe you can believe it if it helps you to sleep
But singing works just fine for me

Friday, May 9, 2008

Game ON!

So, I’ve been working with a trainer for the past two months or so. I’m losing weight, but it’s slow, about a pound a week. In the first couple weeks, I actually gained two pounds. :( Disheartening, but I pushed through it.

A couple weeks ago, I was talking to my sister, Jo on the phone and mentioned that I’d lost six pounds.

The next day she calls me at work and shouts down the phone line: “Game ON!”

Me: Huh?
Jo: Game ON!
Me: You’re going to need to elaborate.
Jo: I just joined a new gym and the game is totally ON! We’ll see who can lose more weight by the time I see you in June.
Me: OK. That’s sounds cool. (I’m already pretty committed to losing weight, but a little healthy competition is never hurt anyone)

A week later she calls to check in.

Jo: I lost five pounds this week! How about you?
Me: Um.... One.
Jo: (sounding like I’d just popped her balloon) One?!
Me: Yeah. One. It’s always one. (I try not to sound defensive)
Jo: But you said you’d lost six pounds…?
Me: Yeah, in SIX WEEKS.
Jo: Oh. Well, I’m planning to lose 15 more by June.
Me: (I’ll be lucky if I lose 15# by Labor Day) June is four weeks away. Is that healthy?
Jo: Sure! four to five pounds a week is normal.
Me: Um… No. It’s not. How many calories are you eating?
Jo: I’m trying to stay under 1,000
Me: That’s insane.

Madame EEE makes a prediction: Jo will meet her goal to lose 15 pounds by June. Hard not to when she’s practically starving herself. HOWEVER, once this short-term deadline is reached, she will fall off the wagon HARD and gain back ten pounds in a month. (Madame EEE has seen it happen before, specifically she has seen it happen with Jo before)

Unless I can convince her to chill a bit. (Not easy – she inherited impatience from our dad and stubborn from mom) I am trying to steer her towards a healthier calorie count/goal.

But the competitive Force is strong in my family. I have it. My father has it. My sister has it… (sorry, channeling Luke Skywalker…) Bader. Anyway, I am resisting the urge to cut my calories, too. Since I truly feel that I’m at the lower threshold of my daily operating budget, resistance is far from futile (D'oh! Mixing my sci-fi metaphors again!)

But hey! It’s Friday! And Friday is my diet holiday! Shalom Deli here I come!
Mmmmm…. bagel & lox….

Happy Friday, all!

Thursday, May 8, 2008


About once a year or so, I take an online test to determine my Myers-Briggs personality profile.

It shifts around a bit, but most of the time it comes back INTJ
(Introverted Intuitive Thinking Judger)
also known as: the Mastermind.

Interestingly enough, this personality type is considered a "Rational" temperament -hee hee! ;)
(The other temperaments are the Guardians, the Idealists, & the Artisans)

I'm not sure that I buy the idea that their are only 16 personality types in the world, but it IS kind of fascinating. And I'm a little freaked to be in the same category as Ayn Rand... Though Jane Austen - that's cool!

The one factor of my personality that I don't question at all is that I am an introvert. I know, I know, here I am blogging all my business to whoever might happen by, seems a bit extroverted to me, too. But it's not. I mean, I'm not having this conversation with a real person. Sure, anyone reading this is "real" enough, but I've never met you. To me you're an abstract and as such you exist only in my mind. Like everything else!

Bwa ha ha!!!

Now pause to wonder what'll happen to all of you if I stop thinking of you!

Seriously though (Seriously?? Seriously!) I KNOW you exist (I'm not a complete nut job - yet!) but like I said, it's all very abstract because I've never met you.

You know the classic question: "Would you rather have the ability to become invisible or the ability to fly?" and how you answer is supposed to tell you whether you're an introvert (invisible) or an extrovert (flying). But, duh, who doesn't know which they are already? And why the hell can't we have BOTH. I wanna fly around but I don't want anyone to SEE me flying around.

But if I have to pick one: invisible all the way, baby.

Which is why I don't give my name. I'm curious, then, how many of my other anonymous friends are introverted as well...

All right, now I'm rambling. I'm going to the gym (I hate going in the evenings; it's SO CROWDED!!!)

Excuuuuuse Me??

A woman cut in front of me in line at the CVS this morning.

Puzzle me this: How many kinds of stupid do you need to be to cut in front of a woman buying tampons and chocolate????

My e-sweetheart, Rational, got me thinking about Cary Grant. Damn, I love Cary Grant. I have ever since I was a pimply little tween. I think that part of it is that he's just so funny and, if you squint really hard and pretend he's a half a foot taller, my dad looks just like him.

"Everybody wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant." - Cary Grant

OH! And just a quick shout out to the crew over at Topix! Anything I can do to help you waste time on your employer's dime!!!!


OK, so about three weeks ago Amy Dickinson ran a column about a dude who was trying to reconcile with his wife but she wouldn't give up her bit on the side and said that hubby didn't love her right.

Well, my e-crush, Rational, had some... interesting advice for this man.

***WARNING!!! The following should be read in a warm bath with a glass of pinot!***

Rational wrote:
LW1: I dont know why but I get the feeling that your wife doesnt' take you seriously.

Maybe its because you are as wimpy in the sack as you are here in your letter. Your wife is probably longing for a man who will show her "who's in charge". You aren't loving her right!

Here's a little advice if you want to make things work out: Next time you two get together to talk things out take the opportunity to love her right. What I mean by that is lower your voice and let your commands roll like the thunder with deep bass. Don't back down, then, when she gets up to leave you get up too, grab her by the waist and pull her to you like the little raga muffin she is. Put your mouth to her ear and tell her that instead of worrying about her lovin you are going to show her what you expect from now on....then spin her around and bend her over the couch......grab her by the back of her head, grab her hair, real close to scalp and give it a nice steady tug while you grope her with your other hand, then as soon as she moans, rip her panties off and tell her that its time to pay the piper for being such a naughty girl.

Once you are done and she is still quivering like a bowl of jello on a washing machine tell her in a very calm and cool voice, right in the back of her ear, from behind that you know she will do exactly what you ask of her to make things work out.

Then when she agrees, slap her on her ar se and tell her you are both hungry and thirsty and that she better get her fannie in the kitchen and make you a sandwich if she wants some more good lovin!


*EEE wipes the drool from her chin and attempts to get some work done today...*


Am I the only person on the planet who couldn't give a flying fig about American Idol???

I mean, I resisted reality tv for a very long time and even I have a few shows that have very conflicted, love-hate relationships with (Will Whitney become the 1st plus-size girl to win Top Model??? Will Paulina Porizkova take over as host once Tyra finally loses her nut?) *I'm so ashamed.*

But I just can't get into Idol. An may I just channel my mother for a moment: The guy with the dreads - Jason??? - would be SO much better looking if he shaved his head or at least cut it. Hell, even a nice, conservative faux-hawk would be better than his current 'do.

And speaking of Paulina Porizkova.... Married to Ric Ocasek for almost 20 years now. She's still gorgeous and he's still bu-tugly. I'm a firm believer in ugly-sexy (Tom Petty, I'm your SLAVE) but I just don't see it with Ric.

who's gonna tell you when it's too late?
who's gonna tell you things aren't so great?
you can't go on thinking nothing's wrong.
who's gonna drive you home tonight?

I totally skipped the gym today. I'll probably eat like a rabbit to over compensate...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


The phone just rang. I figured it would probably be my sister calling to have one of our patented non-conversations:

Jo: Whatcha doing?
Me: Nothing. What's up?
Jo: Nothing.
Me: How are the kids?
Jo: Sleeping.
Me: Oh.

Only more boring.

But the phone wasn't Jo. It was the CSU Alumni Association. Of course they were calling for money. Or at least I assume they were calling for money. I didn't answer. What did I do before caller-id?

The thing is, this is the third time they've called in three days. And each time I look at the phone, see the number, and then set the phone back down VERY CAREFULLY as if it might accidentally pick up on its own, and then I sit there VERY QUIETLY until it stops ringing, as if THEY KNOW that I'm screening...

This blog, too, is just another shining example of my mad avoidance skills. I OUGHT to be working on my book, ought to be puzzling out the Gwen question (should she or should she not be aware that she works for a vampire cartel????)

Baby, I put the PRO in procrastination...

I Heart Rational

My e-crush is having girlfriend troubles. Part of me is a little excited that he might soon be single – how F’d up is that? I’ve never even met the guy nor do I have plans to yet I like the idea of him being free??? – but mostly I’m sad for him. I hate the idea of him being in pain and no matter how right a breakup might be, breakups are F-ing painful. I even feel bad for his gf. What’s up with that?

I heard a funny story about three guys trying to drive through the entire lower 48 in 120 hours. How do people think these things up? How do they decide to do it? This is something I would never contemplate doing. I like driving well enough, but take a moment to imagine what the car is going to SMELL like at the end of the fifth day! Yikes.

But the story got me thinking about the meaning of life (again) and what makes a life “significant” Lots of people accomplish a lot of little things: a thriving business, a healthy family, some form of art… but most people just live their lives without any great GOAL. My parents for instance. Great people, hell, they’re the best. But what have they REALLY done? They raised three children semi-successfully, they have a nice home and a tidy little nest egg for their retirement. But in fifty years, after they’re gone, who will remember them other than those of us who knew and loved them first hand??

And the bigger question: Who will remember me? Certainly those within my first degree of separation, but beyond that?

Why am I obsessed with the idea that immortality can be achieved through second or third degree separation? If only I can publish a single book and have it sell a moderate number, I will live on in a library or two or a bookshelf here and there.

But the bigger question is: Why does it matter to me?


Here's my gripe: My gym is having a "boot camp" that meets every Mon/Wed/Fri at 5:30am. This is fine. This is great. Good for them.

I'm not in the boot camp, but I usually hit the treadmill btwn 5&5:30am. This morning, the BC troop dragged a dozen stationary bikes into the center of the gym and did a spinning class.

Cool. Fun. Whatever.


WHY did the platoon leader have to crank the F-ing music SO LOUD????

It makes me feel old to complain about noise, (and I am FAR from the oldest person there - the gym is also the Rehab center for the attached hospital and there are a lot of older people & recoverees there in the mornings) but I was trying to listen to an audiobook and I couldn't concentrate because of all the Moby etc that was blaring through the gym.

Worst of all: I didn't complain.

Why do I do this? Why do I eat my sorrows like opium cakes? (Channelling Amy Tan, here!)

Sigh. Hopefully the day will get better!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

We'll see how long this lasts. I'm not even sure if I have enough to say to make this worthwhile...